Serving up Hokkaido scallops: DHL Global Forwarding introduces air charters to Hong Kong

June 29, 2020 - 02:38
Serving up Hokkaido scallops: DHL Global Forwarding introduces air charters to Hong Kong

Re-establishing this key export route will help seafood producers in Hokkaido reach consumers in China and Hong Kong


TOKYO, JAPAN - Media OutReach - 29 June 2020 - For scallopproducers in Hokkaido, which is a key source for importers of the premiumdelicacy, June typically marks the beginning of a newharvest season that ends in October. However, since the authorities startedimposing travel restrictions due to Covid-19, exporters from the region wereunable to fly scallops and other perishables directly to Hong Kong, the topimporter of Japanese agricultural and marine products and a gateway toChina, which saw overall seafood imports increaseby 39% in 2019 to ¥1.6 trillion (€13.3 billion).


DHL Global Forwarding launched a thrice-weekly charter fromChitose to Hong Kong. The charter is the only direct air freight service from Hokkaido'smain international airport to Hong Kong since airlines halted internationalflights from the airport. Japan has seen its year-on-year exportof seafood fall from ¥22.9 billion to ¥14.9 billion in April this year.


"As countries took time to recover and travel restrictionsremained firmly in place for weeks before being gradually lifted, there was anurgent demand to bring fresh perishable seafood to consumers outside of Japan. Asone of the leading international forwarders in Japan's seafood trade, I am extremelyproud that we were able to work with our partners to swiftly organize the firstdirect freight service from Chitose to Hong Kong. With an export pathwayestablished for perishables, including scallops, sea cucumber and melons,producers in Hokkaido can be assured that their harvests will reach consumersin a timely manner and in their optimum states," said Charles Kaufmann, CEO,North Asia South Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding and President/RepresentativeDirector, DHL Global Forwarding Japan K.K.


For the leading internationalprovider of air, sea and road freight services, scallops make up the largestportion of seafood that it ships out of Japan and primarily from Hokkaido, atop producer of seafood in the country. Japan has seen its domestic consumptionof seafood decrease by more than 20% and has been actively pushing its seafoodoverseas to support its 1.4trillion yen (€10 billion) seafood industry.


In May 2019, DHL Global Forwarding markedits 50th anniversary in Japan with the opening of its wholly-ownedoffice in Chitose. The freight forwarder's dedicated presence in Hokkaido providescritical customs expertise to local businesses exporting to overseas markets, and guaranteethe quality of the seafood by using reliable state-of-the-art cold chaintechnologies.  


Note to editors:

Scallops dominated seafood exports for Japan in 2018,with the country's northernmost island of Hokkaido netting the bulk of it. Theisland accounted for up to 80 percent of domestic scallop production and 20percent of the country's overall seafood production. Read more about the challenges and opportunitiesthat the scallop industry in Hokkaido is facing on Logistics of Things.

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